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Is Julian Assange's Nomadic Lifestyle the Reason for his Detention?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has rarely called one place home since he was a little boy. AP Photo/Lennart Preiss

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been almost constantly on the move since he was a little boy, and that may be the reason he is sitting in a British jail today.

At first, it was his parent's life in a traveling theatre company that kept him from calling any one place home, and he reportedly attended 37 schools as a child. For the last several months, the work of his media company, WikiLeaks has brought the enigmatic Australian under increased scrutiny and, if Assange himself is to be believed, mortal threat. This lead to a life on the run.

After Wikileaks released thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan war documents earlier this year, Assange began popping up all over Europe, from Iceland to Switzerland to Sweden. It was that last stop where he ran into trouble.

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Swedish authorities say Assange may have sexually assaulted two women there, and he finally turned himself over to British authorities to face possible extradition on Tuesday. At the hearing, Judge Howard Riddle refused the WikiLeaks founder bail, saying Swedish authorities had made "serious allegations against someone who has comparatively weak community ties in this country and the means and ability to abscond."

At the hearing, Assange at first had trouble providing an address to the court. Asked to give an address he replied: "PO Box 4080," reports the British daily The Guardian. When the question was asked again, he said: "Do you want it for correspondence or for some other reason?" Later he gave an address in Australia.

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Assange's lack of lifestyle consistency is nothing new, U.K. journalist Vaughan Smith told CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey.

"He lives out of a suitcase," Smith said. "He doesn't have a fixed address."

Former collaborator Herbert Snorrason told Pizzey this is due to Assange's intense fear that his work exposing government secrets will lead to his corporeal undoing.

"He has a history of being on the run, so I think paranoia is his conditioned response," Snorrason said.

Although Judge Riddle ignored the prosecution's claim that bail should be rejected on the grounds of Assange's safety, the prosecution did also push for denying bail because Assange is "somebody who is unable to provide an address that he will stay at for the proceedings."

Judge Riddle claimed in court that WikiLeaks diplomatic cable dump had nothing to do with his decision to detain Assange. Even if it did, WikiLeaks' other operators say the show will go on.

"This will not change our operation," Kristinn Hrafnsson told The Associated Press after the decision to detain Assange. As if to underline the point, WikiLeaks released a cache of a dozen new diplomatic cables, its first publication in more than 24 hours.

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